www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Water vision -7/29/2014, 9:48 AM

No longer a supporter -7/29/2014, 9:47 AM

The power of punctuation -7/29/2014, 9:47 AM

Running for the wrong bus -7/28/2014, 9:04 AM

Old Old Mexico -- Culture and content -7/28/2014, 9:03 AM

The defining issue of economic recovery -7/27/2014, 4:53 PM

In a world of sectarian violence, what can be done? -7/27/2014, 4:53 PM

Funding DHDC -7/27/2014, 1:18 PM

Endorsement for Shultz -7/25/2014, 3:28 PM

Against the wind -7/25/2014, 4:23 PM

Do blacks need favors? -7/25/2014, 4:23 PM

Vote Huelskamp out -7/25/2014, 4:23 PM

Open meetings -7/24/2014, 8:07 AM

Leadership change needed -7/24/2014, 8:07 AM

Vote for Huelskamp -7/24/2014, 8:06 AM

Protecting unborn children -7/24/2014, 8:06 AM

Learning experience valuable -7/24/2014, 8:06 AM

False equivalence -7/23/2014, 8:07 AM

Measles' scary comeback -7/23/2014, 1:27 PM

The 'big data' deal -7/23/2014, 10:07 AM

GOP can't get out of its own way -7/23/2014, 10:07 AM

War only will add to Middle East problems -7/22/2014, 8:10 AM

Avoiding taxes -7/22/2014, 8:10 AM

Take the win in Iran -7/21/2014, 8:57 AM

The high court's high-handedness -7/21/2014, 8:57 AM

Up in arms in the Capitol -7/20/2014, 4:52 PM

Firefighters weigh in on pay raise -7/20/2014, 4:52 PM

Backpacks for Kids -7/20/2014, 4:52 PM

Our unwillingness to defend ourselves -7/18/2014, 10:51 AM

Remembering a man who championed freedom -7/18/2014, 10:51 AM

GOP split -7/17/2014, 8:38 AM

New Kansas senator -7/17/2014, 8:37 AM

Who'll build the roads? -7/17/2014, 8:37 AM

Reagan: In or out? -7/16/2014, 2:45 PM

'Unbroken' WWII vet more than a hero -7/16/2014, 2:44 PM

Savor the fruits of your labor -7/16/2014, 2:44 PM

Erasing candidate's standards -7/15/2014, 11:36 AM

Returning to Trail Wood -7/15/2014, 10:13 AM

Leaving some in 'suspense' -7/15/2014, 10:13 AM

Strangers in a remarkable land -7/14/2014, 9:11 AM

Courageous or spineless? Our actions decide -7/14/2014, 9:11 AM

Ambition: An unlikely gift to Kansas voters -7/13/2014, 11:16 AM

Beyond the outrage -7/13/2014, 11:16 AM

Water watch -7/13/2014, 11:16 AM

Scenic outlooks -7/11/2014, 9:18 AM

China's research trumps teaching -7/11/2014, 9:17 AM

Important slow news -7/10/2014, 9:42 AM

We've got a promise to keep -7/10/2014, 9:33 AM

The white combine calls -7/9/2014, 10:02 AM

Vote for family values -7/9/2014, 10:02 AM

Politicians making a mockery of my faith -7/9/2014, 10:02 AM

Missing tribute -7/9/2014, 10:02 AM

Rural students deserve 21st Century education -7/8/2014, 9:10 AM

The education table dance -7/8/2014, 9:10 AM

A new virus -7/8/2014, 9:10 AM

Government as God -7/7/2014, 9:38 AM

EPA affecting others -7/7/2014, 9:38 AM

'Narrow' decision from the narrow-minded -7/7/2014, 9:38 AM

The tax trap -7/6/2014, 4:35 PM

Rulings produce 'First Amendment fireworks' -7/6/2014, 4:35 PM

Firefighter salaries -7/6/2014, 4:35 PM

Economic freedom -7/4/2014, 11:54 AM

Protecting our independence -7/4/2014, 11:54 AM

Dan Johnson, 1936-2014 -7/3/2014, 7:12 AM

New Iraq offensive backfires -7/3/2014, 7:11 AM

Setting things straight -7/3/2014, 7:11 AM

'Crapitalism' -7/3/2014, 7:11 AM

Feeding peace throughout the world -7/2/2014, 9:01 AM

Half way is still only half way -7/2/2014, 9:01 AM

Sherow a better choice -7/2/2014, 9:01 AM

Fireworks, part II -7/2/2014, 9:01 AM

Reality show made in Topeka -7/1/2014, 8:53 AM

The justices and their cellphones -7/1/2014, 8:53 AM

LOB defeated -7/1/2014, 8:53 AM

Tragedy explored in 'Broken Heart Land' -6/30/2014, 9:14 AM

Mexico City: The adventure continues -6/30/2014, 9:14 AM

Even our youngest Americans are citizens -6/29/2014, 12:58 PM

Ban on fireworks -6/29/2014, 12:58 PM

It's time to teach active citizenship -6/29/2014, 12:57 PM

The education establishment's success -6/27/2014, 10:39 AM

Piecework professors -6/27/2014, 10:39 AM

Marriage for all -6/27/2014, 10:39 AM

Prairie chicken madness -6/26/2014, 4:17 PM

Omission control -6/26/2014, 10:12 AM

Equal in the eyes of the law -6/26/2014, 10:12 AM

Help wanted -6/26/2014, 10:12 AM

The old red barn -6/25/2014, 9:19 AM

Beware the unimaginable -6/25/2014, 9:19 AM

Early critic of school testing was right -6/24/2014, 8:53 AM

Finding something 'different' in Topeka -6/24/2014, 8:53 AM

Shopping small -6/24/2014, 8:53 AM

Into the classroom -6/23/2014, 8:55 AM

Wow! And thanks to you -6/23/2014, 8:55 AM

Fireworks double-standard -6/23/2014, 8:55 AM

Glass half full -6/22/2014, 5:57 PM

Brownback's experiment wallops taxpayers -6/22/2014, 5:56 PM

Examining the importance of 'where' we speak -6/22/2014, 5:56 PM

Slavery reparations -6/20/2014, 8:33 AM

'Help me plagiarize' -6/20/2014, 8:33 AM

Thank a farmer -6/20/2014, 8:33 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Poaching jobs

Published on -11/15/2013, 10:29 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

Earlier this week, the governor of Missouri made an offer that elected officials in Topeka should be cheering about. Gov. Jay Nixon wants a joint moratorium between the two states to end job-poaching in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Every year, economic development gurus from the bordering states put together multi-million-dollar packages that lure businesses from one side of the metro to the other.

"This problem -- unique to this region -- of taking jobs that already exist and treating them as if they're brand new, is the unintended consequence of incentive programs in both states, and all of us have a shared responsibility to fix it," Nixon said while addressing the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

To his credit, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was in agreement. In fact, Brownback has proposed the same idea in the past, so he thanked Nixon for joining the effort.

"I have been open to resolving this issue for more than a year, and in that time have engaged in active discussion with Gov. Nixon," Brownback said in a statement. "We also have talked with members of the Missouri Legislature who are interested in putting an end to this 'war.' "

But if Rep. J.R. Clays, R-Salina, is indicative of the Kansas Legislature, there remains a lot more convincing to take place.

"Looks like Missouri is surrendering," Clays wrote on his legislative Twitter account. "Can't compete with Kansas for jobs. We'll continue to incentivize."

If he had left it at the first two sentences, we might have taken the tweet in jest. The "We'll continue to incentivize" makes it clear he's serious.

It also makes clear either he doesn't understand the incredibly expensive shell game taking place in Kansas City that negatively affects both states or, worse, doesn't care.

Clays' unwillingness to stop giving away non-productive corporate subsidies is a position shared by many of his colleagues. Last year, the Missouri Legislature debated a bill that would force the Show Me State to stop poaching jobs from its neighbor -- as long as their Kansas counterparts would pass something similar. No such legislation surfaced in Topeka, so Missouri lawmakers dropped it.

In the past five years, Kansas and Missouri have committed more than $750 million in tax incentives and bonds to approximately 200 companies either to relocate to or expand in the Kansas City area. More than a handful of those already were in the metro, so nothing moved other than a few jobs. Commuting employees didn't change their residences, just where they punch a clock.

Examples are not hard to find.

JPMorgan Retirement Plan Services moved from Kansas City to Overland Park for $15.3 million in incentives. So did KeyBank Real Estate Capital for $15 million and Teva Nueroscience for $40.7 million. AMC Entertainment was lured to Leawood from Kansas City for $47 million.

Missouri has taken its fair share back. Applebee's left Lenexa for Kansas City for $12.5 million. Freightquote took the same path for $64.3 million. North American Savings Bank moved from Overland Park to Kansas City for $5.9 million, while Velociti departed Kansas City, Kan., for Riverside with a mere $1.6 million inducement.

In each case, the state losing the company loses all the tax revenues while the gaining state forgives all the tax revenues.

The only winner is the company itself, which generally receives a brand-new building and all the associated services paid for by taxpayers who don't have such exemptions.

Kansas legislators truly need to examine the situation and act, particularly while there's positive indication from Missouri's elected leaders to stop poaching from each other. And they need to make it law. The two states signed an anti-poaching agreement some 15 years ago that wasn't paid attention to in the least. In fact, the Kansas Department of Revenue can't even find the document.

Both states' governors recognize the real gains to be had if their economic development teams weren't working against each other. So does the Missouri Legislature. All that is required is a majority of Kansas lawmakers.

We hope Rep. Clays doesn't represent the majority position.

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.

Kansas News